The primary responsibilities of marketing managers include helping companies expand into new markets and acquire new customers. These professionals work to increase sales and profitability by researching trends, estimating demand and identifying opportunities. An understanding of business principles and consumer behavior are essential to success in this field, which is why a bachelor's degree in business administration with a specialization in marketing can be the ideal stepping-stone to a career as a marketing manager.
Job Outlook for Marketing Managers
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that employment of marketing managers is expected to rise faster than the national average for all occupations from 2014 to 2024. Job growth will occur as companies seek to differentiate their goods and services in an increasingly crowded market, resulting in demand for talented marketing managers. Given the salaries and prestige associated with a marketing manager role, competition will be strong for these coveted positions. Candidates with experience and advanced education should enjoy the best career prospects.
The marketing manager role varies according to industry and company size. Generally, these professionals:
- Seek to understand the level, timing and composition of consumer demand in order to drive sales growth
- Oversee an organization’s marketing activities
- Supervise marketing staff
- Develop marketing campaigns, analyze their performance and make recommendations for future campaigns based on the results
- Conduct planning and reporting activities
- Set goals and objectives
- Plan budgets and analyze costs and expenditures
- Work closely with in-house or external creative teams and media buyers to plan and execute campaigns
- Provide status reports to upper management
Some positions may require more generalization, with additional duties such as brand management, public relations, search engine optimization or trade show supervision.
Subcategories of Marketing Management
Subcategories of marketing management found in larger firms include: capabilities marketing manager; product marketing manager; category marketing manager; consumer marketing manager; channel marketing manager; and email marketing manager. While each specialty may focus on a different market segment, they typically entail similar job duties.
For example, product marketing managers create marketing strategies for product lines in support of established revenue, profit and other goals. Duties may include defining the product strategy, determining customer requirements, and working with internal and external partners to deliver products that meet customer requirements.
Marketing managers typically work in an office setting, often in a fast-paced environment. Travel may be a necessary part of these positions, as marketing managers often have to meet with vendors and customers, and attend trade shows and conferences.
Marketing Manager Potential Salary
According to BLS data from May 2014, the average annual wage for marketing managers nationwide was $137,400. Recent bachelor’s graduates will generally need to acquire experience in entry- to mid-level marketing positions before moving into a manager-level role. The top salaries generally go to marketing managers with extensive experience.
Prospective salary ranges and employment opportunities are affected by numerous factors, including a candidate’s qualifications and work history, and regional market conditions.
Education and Training
Entry-level marketing positions often require a bachelor's degree in a field such as business administration or marketing. Some executive-level positions may require advanced education, such as an MBA. Employers expect marketing managers to have relevant work experience, which can be gained through summer jobs, internships and entry-level employment.
The first step to a marketing manager career can be a bachelor’s degree in business administration with a specialization in marketing. Coursework typically includes essential business skills, principles of marketing, statistics, advertising management and international marketing.
Graduates of a business administration program with a specialization in marketing should be able to:
- Implement various strategies and formats for organizational communications
- Identify market segments and estimate product demand
- Plan, develop, implement and monitor marketing campaigns
- Apply marketing strategies to diverse international environments
Employers may offer opportunities for continuing education, making it possible for graduates to gain an entry-level position with a bachelor’s degree and use tuition assistance to pay for a masters degree.
Considering a Career as a Marketing Manager?
Marketing managers are at the forefront of commerce, technology and design. Success in this field requires creativity, innovative thinking and resourcefulness. Marketing managers must be detail-oriented and deadline-driven, and comfortable working in a changing, fast-paced environment. If you possess these attributes and earn a bachelor’s degree in business administration with a specialization in marketing, you could be on your way to a successful career as a marketing manager.